Thursday, September 6, 2012

Exciting Conference Announcement!

Greetings, PCRID! Have you heard the news? PCRID's annual conference will host the inaugural event, StreetLeverage-Live! We are thrilled about this opportunity and hope that you will join us at conference to experience it firsthand. Here is a little more information about the event from ACC Co-Chair, Jen Bell: "Saturday, November 10th will be dedicated to this dialoging event which is designed to bring together industry, visionaries, leaders, educators, entrepreneurs and practitioners to share ideas that will set proactive thinking in motion and contribute to the forward progression of the interpreting profession! The morning plenary session will have short presentations followed by discussion with the presenters. In the afternoon, there will be four workshops presented twice so that everyone can get a more in-depth perspective of two of the presenters' topics along with discussion time built into those workshops as well." Personally, I cannot wait to be a part of this event! For more information, visit our conference homepage or read more here. Don't miss out on this experience. Register for conference today! Best, Jessica Jessica Gabrian

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Spring!

It seems as though spring is in full bloom in the Potomac region! Hopefully, we are all taking the time to stop and smell the cherry blossoms. :)

PCRID is springing into action by bringing you our very first General Meeting of the year! Please join us this Sunday, April 22 from 12:00 - 4:00 pm at the Frederick Hilton Garden Inn. Representatives from RID will be joining us for lunch with a workshop to follow. We are thrilled to offer this to our members for absolutely free! I do hope that you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity and I look forward to seeing you there.



Friday, December 16, 2011

Greetings, PCRID!

I hope this finds you all in the happiest of holiday spirits. I wanted to take a brief moment to introduce myself and discuss my vision for my upcoming term as President of PCRID.

My passion for our field began back home in Missouri while I was working toward my Bachelor's degree. After graduation, I decided to continue my studies in the nation's capital and make D.C. my home. What an exciting trip it's been! On almost a daily basis, I am amazed and humbled at the uniquely challenging opportunities we find ourselves in as interpreters in this region. While anything in life can become routine, I feel it is imperative to maintain this perspective about our field as we continue to move onward and upward. Every experience presents an opportunity to learn something new: and I am anticipating taking away a multitude of lessons from my time on the PCRID Board. I have each of you to thank for this exciting venture.

My first priority in this role will be to serve the community and support the needs of the PCRID Board to the best of my abilities. As an undergraduate, I proudly served as president of my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and was chair for various other campus programs. The leadership, organizational and interpersonal skills I developed during that time will benefit me greatly in this new role as president of PCRID.

For the past month, I have been brainstorming about how PCRID can strengthen the ties we have with the communities we serve. Our field is rife with not-for-profit organizations with goals that clearly align with ours; NAOBI, DCAD, MDAD, DHHIG and AADB to name a few. We are fortunate that many of these wonderful organizations are headquartered in our region. It is my sincere hope that we will be able to join our efforts for the betterment of our communities. Of course, I am always open to any thoughts PCRID members have regarding any potential collaborations.

Again, I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I am honored to represent such a dynamic and talented group of professionals. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any ideas or thoughts about how the Board and I can better meet your needs.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!



Jessica Gabrian
PCRID President

Friday, December 2, 2011


Dearest colleagues and friends

When I first moved to the DC area in January of 2002, I arrived with over twenty years interpreting experience. But none of those years had prepared me for the culture shock of working with so many brilliant, educated deaf people. And I struggled to understand the relationship between them and the interpreting communty for some time. It was not like the model I'd know from the Northeast. There, the interpreting community and the deaf community worked in tandem and held each other in high regard.

Now, nearly ten years later, I have come to a deeper understanding; things are complicated. Having engaged in conversation with many interpreters and deaf people here, I am keenly interested in seeing efforts made by PCRID and MDAD, DCAD, and DHHIG to collaborate on issues of educating our constituents as well as the uninformed (or poorly informed) hearing consumers we interact with in Government and other interpreting situations. Your Board this year has made efforts to continue reaching out to the deaf organizations and we are so grateful they wish to engage! Personal thanks to Charm Smith, MDAD President, and David Nelson, DCAD President, and Steve Gagnon, DHHIG President, for our initial discussions. I regret that I will not be here to continue working with you, but I point you to the 2012 PCRID Board who are eager to work with you!

And the rules have changed, too. With Foreign Language Agencies who know little about our field bidding on contracts for interpreting services for deaf people, and contracting in general becoming a big business, freelance intepreters are being tossed about on the waves of the competition to secure these contracts. Many just hold on tight, hoping the sea will calm itself and bring them safely to shore. But there are things we can do as a profession, and that includes collaborating with our deaf consumers to secure some say in the process. Failing to combine our forces may leave us stranded on some uncharted shores where we don't want to be.

The future of this profession and the quality of services to our consumers does not belong in the hands of those who see interpreting services as a commodity. By working together, interpreters and deaf people can be a force to guide the future of this profession. Don't sit back idly and wait for it, hoping it will come. It will require the combined efforts of us all to make a difference.

I believe its worth the effort. I commit to continuing the fight, though it will be on the other coast. Please get involved and work with the PCRID Board, MDAD, DCAD, DHHIG, and all the interpreters and deaf people you know to create an atmosphere of collaboration and respect. You have an amazing group of people on the PCRID Board. I have no doubt they will usher us into a Renaissance of creativity working with the leadership in the deaf community.

Thank you for the opportunity to lead PCRID this year. Its been a pleasure working with all of you. I leave you with great respect and admiration for all you have done and will do to move our profession forward.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Conference is Here!

The 2011 PCRID Annual Conference is here, November 4-6 at the Kellogg Center on the Gallaudet University Campus! If you haven't registered you are welcome to do so at the door on Saturday or Sunday. Consider attending the showing of Universal Signs on Friday night at 7pm, too. For more information, look at the conference schedule.

Saturday, November 5th, the PCRID Business Meeting begins at 11:30. All members are welcome to attend, and lunch is provided to those registered for the conference. There will be elections for the board offices of 1st Vice President, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large Maryland. Each of these positions have two-year terms. In addition, there will be a special election to fill the role of President for the remainder of this year and all of 2012.

PCRID is a membership organization, where the members volunteer their time and energy to benefit you. Whether you've been enjoying the benefits of others volunteering to run your organization for many years or just a short time, you are invited to step up now and do some of that work in the year ahead. Please nominate yourself (or ask someone else to nominate you) and make it possible for your organization to continue being a resource for its members in the years ahead.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NIC's Future, Our Future

With the National Conference presentations on the future of the NIC test, it is clear that member input on all things is essential in order for our organization to move forward. If you haven't read the updates on the RID website, please do! There you will find reports, a press release, FAQs, and ASL video, . If you have read this information and continue to have questions or concerns about anything, you are invited to communicate directly with the National Office either by contacting them or by sharing your concerns with your local Chapter. We will be seeking your input on the NIC and other National RID issues over the next few months.

If you would like to communicate with RID directly, please send your messages to our Region II Representative, Lisa Schaefermeyer. Click on Lisa's name to email her. For a brief overview, learn about the proposed NIC Enhancement Process here.

Whatever your thoughts about the ongoing saga of RID testing, it is vital to the structure of RID that you participate. Since this is a member-driven organization, RID (and subsequently PCRID) will move forward based on the input of members. If a large percentage of members choose not to share their input, the organization may likely move in a different direction based on the input of a fraction of the membership. For the benefit of PCRID members, the PCRID Board is actively seeking ways to collect your input and share it as coming from the PCRID membership. In the weeks ahead, you can expect a survey to come your way and be available here on the PCRID website. On September 24, 2011, we will hold our next General Meeting (click to register) where you will have an opportunity to share your input with local members as we endeavor to pass your concerns along to the National Office. And again at our Annual Conference, you will have opportunities to share issues you want RID to address.

As a member of RID and PCRID, you have paid for certain benefits. Certification and CEUs may be at the top of the list for some, but the reality is you are paying for a voice in directing the future of our profession. Since you've paid for this right, why not use it? We are responsible for the direction our organization takes. Quietly watching things unfold and complaining about the leadership and their decisions is an act of complacence. I urge you to be actively involved influencing the future of your profession. The impact of decisions made around this test will likely effect our field for the next 20-30 years.

I look forward to our active participation in this process and invite you to challenge me, your board, and your peers to step it up!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

President, Anyone?

The honor to serve as President of PCRID is one I have embraced and given my full attention. In fact, I have thoroughly enjoyed facing the challenges as I moved progressively through the different positions to the Presidency. Initially I volunteered working as the Membership Coordinator during a transition to a new website. The engagement with the website led me to take on the role of Webmaster, endeavoring to make PCRID’s website a dynamic and valuable asset to its members. Later, when stepping into the role of First Vice President to complete the second year of a term, I found new challenges being part of the Board in a leadership role. Now, as President, I see great value in stepping up incrementally and participating in the process of running a membership organization.

I am not alone in this journey. It is wonderful to see people stepping up as volunteers, actively engaged in our professional organization locally and beyond. This year alone we have seen volunteers pass the baton to new volunteers, providing relief for those who have dedicated time and energy over the past year or longer. It demonstrates the value that each of us brings to PCRID. Everyone has something to offer at some point in time. I would like to express my gratitude toward those who have served and those now beginning their service. You are the heart of PCRID. Since there are many variables that determine the extent to which any one of us can volunteer our time in the service of our organization, those who have not served deserve no less respect. Your dedication to our profession may be manifest in other ways, and I thank you for giving your best as an interpreter. Family, jobs, health, and many other factors influence our choices and set parameters that may limit what we do even when we want to do more.

One such variable now puts me in a position to make a necessary decision to move to California. We will be moving to support family as we deal with aging parents in need. I do not enter this decision lightly. I have discussed this openly with the Board and we have agreed that I will need a replacement for the second year of my term as President. We are committed to making this transition with the interests of the membership of PCRID in mind.

In my absence, our Bylaws shift my duties to VP1. I am happy to announce that Heather Mewshaw will complete my term on the Board as President. Heather took on the role of Webmaster when I left it last year. She stepped up this year and filled the role of First Vice President during the second year of the term while upgrading the website and our communications to the membership. Her willingness and effectiveness in both of these roles has been nothing short of phenomenal. She was already committed to running for VP1 again, but we on the Board all agree that she would be ideal to step into the second year of my term as President. We will work together to make the transition seamless. I will still be here in November at the Annual Conference, and Heather and I will co-chair the Business Meeting. I ask that you welcome her and give her your full support.

It has truly been an honor to serve as President. Working with this Board has been a joy. They are a truly remarkable group of leaders, worthy of praise. I look forward to the remainder of this year and hope to see many of you in November at Conference, perhaps even stepping up to positions of service within the organization.